Racemaker Press has released a compelling new biography, Hard Luck Lloyd: The Complete Story of Slow-Talking, Fast-Driving Texan Lloyd Ruby written by John Lingle, a Houston police officer who received his first autograph from Lloyd Ruby at age 9, sparking a life-long interest in motorsports. “Hard Luck” Lloyd Ruby, a laconic Texan whose slow speech belied his fast and hard driving style, amassed over 150 recorded victories, crossing multiple motorsports classes, from motorcycles, midgets, sports and stock cars to Indy – where the hard luck of his eighteen attempts at the Indianapolis 500 would define him, shadowing his otherwise stellar four-decade long racing career.
Packed with over 275 color and black and white images, Hard Luck Lloyd tells the tale of Texas native, Lloyd Ruby (1928 – 2009), who began racing midgets — the preeminent form of racing in the 40s and 50s — in 1946, eventually making such a good living at it that he didn’t see the need to make the move to Indy cars until 1960, where he recorded four top-10 finishes in his first five Indy 500s. Mechanical issues, like a broken cam bolt in 1966, blown tires, blown engines, weather delays, and team communications issues became a myriad of forces that all combined to create the Hard Luck Lloyd moniker which, though it stuck, never caused him real consternation on a personal level.
“Lloyd himself was not one to question fate in regard to his racing fortunes chalking it up instead to the nature of the racing game,” his son John Ruby relates in the book. “He never looked back or talked about what-ifs after a race, even at Indy.”
His fellow racers however understood Lloyd Ruby’s frustration when it came to winning racing’s greatest prize. “He had some terrible luck in his runs at Indianapolis, no doubt about it,” said three-time Indy 500 champion, fellow Texan and family friend Johnny Rutherford. “I truly feel that Lloyd was the greatest driver never to win the 500.”
Author, John Lingle, has gone to great lengths to cover all aspects of Ruby’s life; interviewing family members, friends, journalists, racing historians, and driving contemporaries like Mario Andretti, Johnny Rutherford, and Al and Bobby Unser, all of whom helped to paint the entire portrait of Ruby’s life. “The Pride of Wichita Falls” remained true to his Texan roots, sporting his trademark cowboy hat, and creating close relationships with friends, families and the community.
“Everyone has a really good story about Lloyd Ruby,” author Lingle says. “There was so much more to Lloyd than just hard luck, and I wrote this book to bring the stories, the victories, and the lessons learned to life. No matter how much you may know about Lloyd Ruby, there will be at least a few stories you haven’t heard before, and will be glad that you did.”
Ruby’s racing career was honored with the Bruton Smith Legends Award at the Texas Motor Sports Hall of Fame in Fort Worth in 2005, and in 2008 when he was inducted into the Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in Tulsa. He was also named co-recipient of the Louis Meyer Award at the Auto Racing Hall of Fame induction ceremony and special recognition dinner in Indianapolis.
“This new volume tells the story of one of America’s greatest unsung heroes in auto racing, a superb driver in almost every type of car he ran, on ovals, road courses and dirt tracks, winning 24-hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours at Sebring, and achieving countless victories across the country,” Joseph Freeman publisher and principal of Racemaker Press said. “We are proud to offer this quality work by first-time author John Lingle as a valuable addition to any race fan’s library.”
Part of the Racemaker Press American Racing History series, the 320-page, oversized hard cover book contains over 275 images, both color and black & white, Lloyd Ruby’s career racing records from 1947 – 1977, and a complete index.
Racemaker Press is retailing the book for $49.95, plus shipping and handling, and author signed copies are available upon request.
You can purchase your copy here or call 617-723-6533 to order your copy, or request more information.